Growing Seeds

Last week I started planting a huge batch of poppy seeds, spinach, carrots, lavender, cilantro, and root vegetables. Seed growing is pretty easy once you get the hang of it. You need good seed starting soil to get them to grow. I found that the ones sold at garden centers work too. Since I grow a lot of seeds, I mix my own batch of soil consisting of coco coir, compost, and perlite or vermiculite.

Day 1

For starting out with seeds, you can purchase these:

  1. Seed starting pods or trays that can be purchased from any home improvement or garden stores
  2. Labels or plant markers ( I use address labels to label my seeds)
  3. Toothpick or a chopstick to poke holes in the soil


Water the potting mix from the bottom of the tray. Let the water soak up into the potting mix. Once the mix is wet thoroughly, probably an hour or so, then you may begin putting in seeds. Don’t forget to empty the leftover water in the tray. If the seeds sit in soggy soil for too long, they will grow mold and rot the seeds.

For this batch of seeds I grew, I used a chopstick to put a very light indentation to drop my seeds in the center. I dropped about 10 seeds in because I know that some may not survive down the line so I always grow an extra big batch. Also, since I am a HUGE fan of beets and turnips, I usually put in A LOT!

Once you get the seeds in, cover very lightly with about less than 1/4 of an inch of soil. Label as I do in the pictures or stick your plant markers on the side of each pot. Put the plastic cover over the plant (cover usually comes with the plant tray).

Day 3 : the white specks on the top right pods are turnips and beets that are the early risers.

Place the tray in a dark, preferably warm closet. Check on the plant in two days, there should be new growth coming up. Vegetables are usually quicker to sprout than flowers.

Day 4: The poppies on the left three rows are starting to come out. They are so tiny! On the right turnips and beets are growing wildly. The bottom leafy try are my rutabagas.

Once the new growth appear in any of the pods, take the cover off the tray and place the tray in a warm sunny spot INDOORS. Keep the soil moist for the next couple of weeks. I like to keep my plants indoors for at least a month until the seedlings outgrow the pods.

Day 5

When you are ready to take the plants outside, take them out and place them in a shady but bright area outside for a few hours each day. You should gradually increase their time outside each day and in full sun until after a week, you can start leaving them out overnight. Apply fish or light water soluble fertilizer a week later. After that you can place them in a larger container or in the ground or a raised bed. I highly recommend you let them grow bigger for another few more weeks so that they will be stronger and less likely eaten by smaller bugs and pests on the ground.

Day 9

As you can see from the pictures, the plants are doing remarkably well in the last few days. They have grown more leafy and leggy. To ensure they will keep thriving, make sure the soil is moist (don’t forget them like I did and left it dry in the window)!

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